Monday, July 1, 2019

Intuitive Running

As you've noticed by now, my posts this summer are going to be kind of sporadic. But, I will be on Instagram more regularly, and I'll be posting my new posts on Facebook. So if you want to make sure not to miss one, follow me there!

Intuitive eating is something that has been growing in popularity lately, not that I believe that intuitive eating is a new idea. I think it's just getting more attention lately. Intuitive eating is all about learning to listen to your body's cues. Eat when you're hungry, eat what you are craving.  That's not to say that you should eat cookies and cake all day long. It's more about really learning your body's language and knowing what it's telling you. It takes practice, but I really think it's a great way to make sure you're eating healthy. You can do more research on intuitive eating if that is something that appeals to you because this post is not on intuitive eating, it's on intuitive running.

When I'm not training for a specific race, I still run and work out I just don't follow a plan. While I love following a training plan, there are a lot of things that I love about what I'm calling intuitive running.

Like intuitive eating, intuitive running is all about listening to your body's cues and giving it what it wants/needs.  During a training plan, I follow it as exact as I can and do each run whether I feel like running that specific run or not. (If I feel my body telling me to take an extra rest day, an injury coming, or a burnout, then I do take that extra rest day but I follow the plan as closely as possible). We have to follow training plans closely to get better at running. There is nothing wrong with that. But, when I'm not following a training plan I get to ask my body what it wants and do it.

If I'm feeling extra tired, I haven't slept well, I'm feeling worn out or like I might be coming down with something, I sleep in instead of getting up to run. I will switch my workout of a nice walk around our neighborhood or for some foam rolling and stretching, or maybe I'll just take a complete rest day and sleep in.

I can feel when I need a good long, slow run because I need those most when I start feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. When I need some good time to process something and to have some good thinking time, I go out for my long run and I come home with a clear mind and ready to come up with solutions to what may be bothering me.

When I start craving some progress in my running, I do some speed work.  I've said before that when I'm doing speed work there's not a lot of thought process going on. The only thing I have energy to think about is hitting my next interval pace and getting through that interval until my next recovery interval. So speed workouts aren't much of a good "therapy run" but I do always feel like I am making progress when I see that my intervals are getting faster.

When I feel like a good challenge is what I'm needing, the tempo run is what I go for. Tempo runs are always a challenge for me, but it's always one of my favorite kinds of runs. Tempo runs help me feel strong and help me see improvement when I'm craving progress. They are also a great way to get an idea of where you're at physically.

Intuitive running is a great idea if you're feeling in a running rut. I'm not talking about a burnout that takes a week or two to get out of. I'm talking about you feeling like not running at all after a nice break. I'm talking about when you start feeling like running isn't fun for you anymore. Take a few weeks to pay attention to what your body is telling you and your love for running will come back!

Intuitive running can help you know what things you need to work on. When you do intuitive running, there's a really good chance you're doing things that you're comfortable with and avoiding things that get you out of your comfort zone. But identifying those things are important because we grow when we are uncomfortable.

Intuitive running is also a really good way to make sure you don't get injured. When you're feeling those nagging aches or like something is off, it's a good idea to do some intuitive running by listening if your body is saying that it needs a break. And by doing intuitive running every now and then, we start to learn our body's cues for when it needs some time off or when it is ready to start pushing a little more.

There's a lot of great things about learning to listen to your body and what it needs!

When was the last time you ran without a training plan?

What is your favorite kind of run?

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